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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/18/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1307
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8933
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2662
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7143
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9516
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4445
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0435
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0837

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 TOKYO 002000

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07/18/08

INDEX:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, G-8 summit, North
Korea (Asahi)

(2) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new healthcare system
for elderly, North Korea delisting, G-8 summit, consumption tax
(Yomiuri)

(3) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, G-8 summit,
consumption tax (Mainichi)

(4) Sankei-FNN poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, G-8 summit
(Sankei)

(5) Competition for resources on its way: Foreign capital investment
returns to Iraqi oil fields after hiatus of 36 years (Mainichi)

(6) New Komeito in quandary over how to distance itself from prime
minister, unhappy about low public support for cabinet, while
falling in step on policies (Asahi)

(7) Japan must rid itself of sense of dependence on the United
States (Sankei)

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, G-8 summit, North
Korea

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. Bracketed figures denote
proportions to all respondents. Figures in parentheses denote the
results of the last survey conducted June 14-15.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 24 (23)
No 58 (59)

Q: Why? (One reason only. Left column for those marking "yes" on
previous question, and right for those saying "no.")

The prime minister is Mr. Fukuda 15(4) 5(3)
It's an LDP-led cabinet 31(7) 21(12)
From the aspect of policies 24(6) 61(36)
No particular reason 26(6) 11(6)

Q: Which political party do you support now?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 26 (22)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 24 (22)
New Komeito (NK) 2 (4)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2 (2)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1 (1)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (0)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0)
Other political parties 0 (0)
None 40 (41)

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No answer (N/A) + don't know (D/K) 5 (8)

Q: The Group of Eight (G-8) decided in its Hokkaido Toyako summit
meeting this time to call on the world to halve by 2050 its CO2 and
other greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The G-8
and other countries, including China and India, held a meeting after
that and then agreed to the necessity of setting a target for
greenhouse gas emissions cuts without touching on how far to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Do you support the outcome of the talks
this time?

Yes 32
No 53

Q: China, India, and other newly emerging countries were asked to
take on the obligation to reduce their CO2 emissions, but they
insisted that developing countries should first set a goal for
substantial cuts in their CO2 emissions. Is this assertion
convincing?

Yes 37
No 50

Q: Prime Minister Fukuda presided over the G-8 summit this time. Do
you think he displayed leadership as its chair?

Yes 24
No 60

Q: North Korea declared its nuclear programs in response to requests
from relevant countries. Do you appreciate this North Korean
response?

Yes 16
No 76

Q: In response to North Korea's nuclear declaration, the U.S. is now
in the process of delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of
terrorism. Do you appreciate this U.S. response?

Yes 17
No 71

Q: How do you think delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of
terrorism will affect the issue of Japanese nationals abducted to
North Korea in resolving this issue?

It will have a good impact 4
It will have a negative impact 51
It will have no impact 30

Q: Raising the consumption tax is a major theme in discussing tax
reform. Do you think it is necessary to raise the consumption tax?
(Figures in parentheses are the results of a survey taken in
November 2007.)

Yes 44 (43)
No 47 (49)

Q: About raising the consumption tax, Prime Minister Fukuda said:
"This is an important time when I must make up my mind." Later on,
he explained, "I think it would take a couple of years or more." Do

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you appreciate this stance?

Yes 24
No 65

Q: How much do you appreciate Mr. Ozawa for what he has said and
done as DPJ president? (One choice only)

Very much 1
Somewhat 35
Not very much 45
Not at all 16

Q: Which one between Prime Minister Ozawa and DPJ President Ozawa do
you think is appropriate for prime minister?

Mr. Fukuda 37
Mr. Ozawa 28

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted July 12-13 over the
telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis.
Respondents were chosen from among the nation's voting population on
a three-stage random-sampling basis. Valid answers were obtained
from 1,975 persons (57 PERCENT ).

(2) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new healthcare system
for elderly, North Korea delisting, G-8 summit, consumption tax

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage. Parentheses denote the results of a
survey taken in June.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 26.6 (25.1)
No 61.3 (63.4)
Other answers (O/A) 3.3 (2.7)
No answer (N/A) 8.9 (8.8)

Q: Which political party do you support now? Pick only one.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 27.2 (26.0)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 18.8 (20.5)
New Komeito (NK) 2.8 (2.8)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 1.9 (2.6)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 0.8 (0.9)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.1 (0.3)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.1 (---)
Other political parties --- (0.1)
None 47.8 (46.0)
N/A 0.5 (0.7)

Q: If an election were to be held now for the House of
Representatives, which political party would you like to vote for in
your proportional representation bloc?

LDP 25.6
DPJ 26.9
NK 3.2

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JCP 2.3
SDP 1.4
PNP 0.5
NPN 0.2
Other political parties ---
Undecided 38.9
N/A 0.9

Q: The government has now introduced a new healthcare system, under
which elderly people are also asked to shoulder the burden of
insurance premiums so that young generations will not be
overburdened. Do you appreciate this system?

Appreciate very much 9.2
Appreciate somewhat 29.6
Don't appreciate very much 32.9
Don't appreciate at all 25.5
N/A 2.7

Q: What do you think the government should do about this new
healthcare system?

Maintain it as is 9.1
Lighten its burden 45.5
Abolish it and create a new system 42.1
O/A 0.4
N/A 3.0

Q: North Korea has now promised to reinvestigate the pending issue
of Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea, and the government
will therefore ease some of its economic sanctions on North Korea.
What do you think about this? Pick only one that is closest to your
view from among those listed below.

Japan may do so if North Korea's reinvestigation goes down with the
Japanese government 11.4
The government should decide whether to do so after seeing the
outcome of North Korea's reinvestigation 45.2
Japan should not do so 39.7
O/A 0.3
N/A 3.4

Q: The U.S. has designated North Korea as a state sponsor of
terrorism and has taken economic sanctions on North Korea. However,
the U.S. will delist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in
the wake of North Korea's declaration of its nuclear programs. Do
you think this U.S. decision is convincing?

Yes 12.7
No 80.3
N/A 7.0

Q: The Group of Eight (G-8) summit held this time at Lake Toya in
Hokkaido focused on global warming and other environmental issues.
Do you appreciate the G-8 summit on the whole?

Appreciate very much 8.4
Appreciate somewhat 35.4
Don't appreciate very much 36.2
Don't appreciate at all 15.3
N/A 4.8


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Q: There is an opinion saying it is unavoidable to raise the
consumption tax in order to maintain pension and other social
security systems. Do you agree to this opinion?

Yes 20.2
Yes to a certain degree 26.9
No to a certain degree 20.7
No 30.7
N/A 1.5

Q: Prime Minister Fukuda has indicated that he would consider
raising the consumption tax rate in the next two or three years in
order to secure financial resources for social security. Do you
appreciate it?

Appreciate very much 6.7
Appreciate somewhat 29.1
Don't appreciate very much 33.0
Don't appreciate at all 28.5
N/A 2.6

Q: Which one between Prime Minister Fukuda and DPJ President Ozawa
do you support when you see their respective approaches to political
issues?

Prime Minister Fukuda 35.9
DPJ President Ozawa 32.4
N/A 31.7

Polling methodology
Date of survey: July 12-13.
Subjects of survey: 3,000 persons chosen from among all eligible
voters throughout the country (at 250 locations on a stratified
two-stage random sampling basis).
Method of implementation: Door-to-door visits for face-to-face
interviews.
Number of valid respondents: 1,828 persons (60.9 PERCENT ).

(3) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, G-8 summit,
consumption tax

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Questions & Answers
(T = total; P = previous; M = male; F = female)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

T P M F
Yes 22 (21) 23 20
No 54 (60) 60 50
Not interested 21 (17) 15 27

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party 27
(36) 27 26
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
7 (9) 9 6
Because there's something stable about the prime minister 32 (28) 29

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35
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's policy
measures 21 (15) 24 18

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party 6
(7) 8 4
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
34 (31) 32 36
Because there's no fresh image about the prime minister 6 (5) 6 7
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's policy
measures 50 (54) 49 51

Q: Which political party do you support?

T P M F
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 22 (21) 23 21
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 25 (25) 31 20
New Komeito (NK) 5 (4) 3 6
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3 (4) 2 4
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 2 (1) 1 2
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (1) 1 0
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0) -- 0
Other political parties 0 (1) 1 0
None 40 (40) 35 43

Q: The Group of Eight (G-8) summit held at Lake Toya in Hokkaido
agreed to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as a goal to be
shared. Do you think Prime Minister Fukuda displayed leadership as
its chair?

T P M F
Yes 27 25 28
No 62 67 59

Q: What's your evaluation of Prime Minister Fukuda after the G-8
summit?

T P M F
Improved 5 6 4
Worsened 7 7 8
Unchanged 83 83 83

Q: Are you affected in your daily lives by rising prices for crude
oil and grains?

T P M F
Very much 52 50 54
Somewhat 36 38 34
Not very much 6 7 5
Not at all 1 1 1

Q: There are now discussions on the advisability of raising the
consumption tax rate to secure financial resources for social
security. Do you approve of raising the consumption tax?

T P M F
Yes 30 39 22
No 61 53 67


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(Note) Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. "0" indicates that
the figure was below 0.5 PERCENT . "--" denotes that no respondents
answered. "No answer" omitted. Figures in parentheses denote the
results of the last survey conducted June 14-15.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted July 12-13 over the
telephone across the nation on a computer-aided random digit
sampling (RDS) basis. Answers were obtained from 1,060 persons.

(4) Sankei-FNN poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, G-8
summit

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Questions & Answers

(Note) Figures shown in percentage. Figures in parentheses denote
findings from the last Sankei-FNN survey conducted June 14-15.

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 21.7 (22.0)
No 61.2 (61.3)
Don't know (D/K) + Can't say which (CSW) 17.1 (16.7)

Q: Which political party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 23.0 (24.0)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 29.0 (24.6)
New Komeito (NK) 4.6 (3.5)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.5 (4.4)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.5 (2.0)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.5 (0.5)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.1 (0.0)
Other answers (O/A) 1.0 0.7
None 35.6 (39.0)
D/K + Can't say (C/S) 1.2 (1.3)

Q: Do you appreciate Prime Minister Fukuda and his cabinet on the
following points?

Personal character
Yes 45.3 (46.2)
No 44.9 (42.4)
D/K+CSW 9.8 (11.4)

Foreign policy
Yes 17.8 (24.7)
No 66.0 (53.7)
D/K+CSW 16.2 (21.6)

Response to healthcare, pension issues
Yes 12.9 (11.0)
No 77.5 (79.9)
D/K+CSW 9.6 (9.1)

Policy toward North Korea
Yes 14.9 (22.1)
No 71.9 (61.9)
D/K+CSW 13.2 (16.0)


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Q: The Group of Eight (G-8) summit held at Lake Toya in Hokkaido for
this year agreed to share a global target of halving greenhouse gas
emissions by 2050. Do you appreciate this?

Yes 52.5
No 36.9
D/K+CSW 10.6

Q: There is an argument insisting that the G-8 summit should involve
China, India, and other newly emerging economies. Do you agree to
this argument?

Yes 77.2
No 14.3
D/K+CSW 8.5

Q: What would you like Prime Minister Fukuda and his government to
pursue on a priority basis?

Fiscal policy to cut down on waste 38.8 (37.1)
Social security, including healthcare and pension systems 26.4
(27.7)
Economic measures, including price stabilization 14.3 (13.5)
Tax reform, including the consumption tax 4.7 (5.9)
Global warming 4.6 (4.8)
Consumer administration 3.8 (2.6)
Public security 2.6 (2.9)
North Korea 1.8 (2.9)
D/K+C/S 3.0 (2.6)

Q: When would you like the next election to take place for the House
of Representatives?

Right now 15.3
Within this year 34.4
During the first half of next year 28.0
During the latter half of next year 15.3
D/K+C/S 7.0

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted July 12-13 by the
Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) over the telephone on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, a
total of 1,000 persons were sampled from among men and women aged 20
and over, across the nation.

(5) Competition for resources on its way: Foreign capital investment
returns to Iraqi oil fields after hiatus of 36 years

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
July 18, 2008

It has been five years and a half since the outbreak of the Iraq
war, which was once dubbed a "war for the sake of oil." In order to
begin full-scale reconstruction of the country, the Iraq government
late last month decided to allow foreign companies to participate in
the development of the nation's oil and gas fields. Four Japanese
companies will likely join the projects. The return of foreign
capital investment to Iraq's oil industry comes after a hiatus of 36
years, the gas and oil-fields having been nationalized in 1972. Iraq
plans to increase its oil output to 500,000 barrels a day over a
short period of time and to bring production up to 1.5 million
barrels by 2013. It will start by bringing in state-of-the-art

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technology to revive oil fields that have been repeatedly ravaged by
war. International competition to gain access to resources in Iraq,
which has the third largest oil reserves in the world, has only just
begun.

In approving foreign participation, the Iraq government has focused
mainly on European and American oil majors to develop six oil
fields, including the Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq and the
Kirkuk oil field in the northern part. There also are two gas
fields, including Akkas, to be developed. Thirty-five companies have
obtained rights to bid on the projects. The winners would sign
tentative contracts by next June.

Foreign capital penetration of Iraq could affect other Middle
Eastern countries that now reject such a presence in their oil
markets. Oil production output by Iran is growing at a sluggish pace
due to insufficient repairs and inspections of oil fields. Given the
surging price of crude oil, the oil-producing countries are eager to
boost income by increasing production. An official of Global
Insight, a U.S.-British research company, expressed high hopes, "The
case this time could become a model case for having the technology
of international majors used by other oil producing countries in the
Middle East."

However, the Iraqi people remain highly distrustful of European and
U.S. companies coming in, with one official noting, "The U.S.
military launched war with an eye on obtaining our oil." There
remains a possibility of attacks on oil-related facilities
increasing again.

Money pouring into the market from speculators anticipating future
increases in oil demand has been a major factor contributing to the
steep rise in crude oil prices, a phenomenon that started last
year.

Iraq's decision follows Saudi Arabia's late June announcement that
it plans to increase oil production. Some market players hoped that
such moves could put an end to surging crude-oil prices.

Domestic confrontation over distribution of protests

Iraq exports 2.1 million barrels of crude oil a day. The value of
those exports in 2008 is estimated to reach $60-80 billion due to
the steep rise in crude oil prices. The amount well exceeds the
nation's national budget ($46.8 billion).

There continue to be domestic disputes over ownership of rights.
Some huge oil fields are concentrated in the Shiite-dominated
southern part of Iraq and in the northern part, adjacent to the
region inhabited by the Kurds. There are few oil fields in the
Sunni-dominated region.

The Iraq government, realizing that if confrontation between
religious sects and ethnic groups grows deeper, the country will
become divided again and face another crisis, adopted at a cabinet
meeting in February 2007 a new petroleum bill featuring the central
government uniformly managing profits on oil exports. However, the
Kurds opposed this decision, so there is no prospect for the bill to
be enacted.

Oil Minister Al-Shahristani appearing on a TV program in Iraq in
mid-June underscored, "Attacks on pipelines have fallen from an

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average of 30 times per month last year to only four times this
year." In particular, attacks on pipelines between Kirkuk and
Ceyhan, Turkey, have decreased.

Iraqi forces have been endeavoring to restore order, assisted by
U.S. forces, as can be seen in the tougher crack-downs since late
March on Shiite Muslim militias in such areas as Basra, where large
oil fields are concentrated.

Japan desperate to take part in exploration projects, saying that
Iraq is an indispensable partner

Japan dispatched Ground Self-Force personnel to Samawah from January
2004 through July 2006. The Air Self-Defense Force is still engaging
in airlifting operations between Kuwait and Iraq. Japan remains
desperate to secure oil interests.

Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) Minister Akira
Amari, suddenly visited Iraq, flying in on an SDF plane June 25,
five days before the Iraqi government decided which companies could
bid for contracts. He strongly urged the Baghdad to allow Japanese
companies to take part in its projects, stressing that Iraq is
"Japan's indispensable partner." Characterizing Iraq as a key
country for Japan's resource diplomacy, METI has been working to
arrange Amari's visit to Iraq since the beginning of this year and
only realized it at the last moment.

Four Japanese companies -- Mitsubishi Corporation, ENEOA, JAPEX and
INPEX -- will take part in the bidding. They will likely take part
in cooperation with the oil majors.

Iraq is pinning its hopes on Japan's reconstruction assistance. In
order to back Japanese companies' bid to participate in Iraq's oil
and gas development projects, it may be necessary for the government
to come up with even more reconstruction assistance measures than
ever.

(6) New Komeito in quandary over how to distance itself from prime
minister, unhappy about low public support for cabinet, while
falling in step on policies

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
July 18, 2008

The New Komeito has been in a quandary over how to distance itself
from Prime Minister Fukuda. The ruling coalition partner of the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has implemented policies in step with
Fukuda, who appreciates the party's policies. But some party members
are now calling for a change of prime minister due to the low public
support for the Fukuda Cabinet. In an informal meeting of its local
assembly members yesterday, participants raised doubts about the
party continuing to be the junior partner of the coalition. Such
views might cast a pall over the next general election.

"90 PERCENT of New Komeito's policies implemented"

The meeting at New Komeito headquarters yesterday brought together
39 members of municipal, ward, and town assemblies in Eastern Japan.
A municipal assemblyman from the Tohoku District told President Ota,
Deputy President Toshiko Hamayotsu, and other executive members: "Is
it all right for our party to go down with the LDP's sinking ship?"


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One participant said that the government has not responded to
complaints about skyrocketing commodity prices and increased burden
of medical and nursing care costs. The atmosphere in the meeting was
oppressive. Since the meeting was aimed at listening to requests
from local assembly members, the executives gave no replies, but
President Ota emphasized to reporters after the meeting: "It is
essential to give top priority to matters related to livelihood of
the people."

Since its inauguration, the Fukuda administration has implemented
one New-Komeito requested policy after another. The government
promptly took measures to ban cluster bombs and to make public
elementary and middle school buildings quake-resistant in response
to requests by the New Komeito.

According to a New Komeito member, "Fukuda, who has taken a pro-Asia
policy, has views closer to those of the New Komeito than any other
previous prime minister. Seeing Ota frequently talking with Fukuda
on his cell phone, a New Komeito lawmaker called Ota "a virtual
special advisor to the prime minister." A mid-ranking lawmaker
commented: "The Prime Minister's Office implements exactly what the
New Komeito requests about 90 PERCENT of the time."

Joint downfall concerned

Despite such a situation, dissatisfaction is emerging among local
assembly members, because the New Komeito's ties with Fukuda are
seen as excessively close. On July 2, former President Takenori
Kanzaki said: "It is still unknown that the House of Representatives
will be dissolved under Mr. Fukuda or under a successor to Mr.
Fukuda, for whom public support remains low," indicating that there
might be a change of prime minister. He also expressed his fear that
the New Komeito could go down together with the prime minister.

A House of Representatives member who will have to run against a
member of the Democratic Party of Japan in a single-seat
constituency in the next Lower House election said in a state of
panic: "I don't think public support for the Fukuda Cabinet will
ever go up even if the administration does something very nice. I do
not want to campaign for the next Lower House election under Prime
Minister Fukuda. No matter how many policies the LDP and the New
Komeito jointly implement, if the government falters, the New
Komeito will also falter."

Under such a circumstance, some New Komeito members are expecting
realignment of the political world after the next Lower House
election. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has also begun to make
eyes at the New Komeito, as seen from its start of considering the
possibility of submitting a bill to give the right to vote to
foreigners, which the New Komeito has long been calling for. One
junior member said: "If some DPJ and LDP members form a new party,
we will find it easier to join it."

One participant in the meeting yesterday said meaningfully: "Mr.
Fukuda is the LDP president. We as New Komeito members must make
efforts to steadily translate our policies into action. We are not
thinking at all about whether to approach to the LDP or the DPJ."

(7) Japan must rid itself of sense of dependence on the United
States

SANKEI (Page 13) (Abridged)

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July 18, 2008

By Kenichi Ito, president, Japan Forum on International Relations

Following North Korea's nuclear declaration to China, chair of the
six-party talks, President George W. Bush announced on June 26 that
the United States would delist the North as a state sponsor of
terrorism. The decision has triggered strong mistrust of the United
States among the Japanese people, who now feel that the abduction
issue has been left behind.

But to begin with, there was no guarantee that the United States
would give foremost consideration to Japan in making its decision.
Raising mistrust of the United States comes from Japan's excessive
dependence on that country and a lack of realism.

Japan must review its own mindset. Any country uses both carrots and
sticks in talks on diplomatic and military issues. Japan has been
leading an easy life as a pacifist nation by abandoning sticks and
war potential under the pretext of Article 9 of the Constitution and
by shifting its own responsibility to the United States.

(On June 10), a Taiwan fishing boat sank after colliding with a
Japan Coast Guard vessel during a chase in waters south of the
disputed Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands. Japan consequently apologized and
promised compensation, while a high-ranking Taiwan official said he
would not rule out war with Japan over the islets.

(On August 16, 2006), a Japanese fisherman was shot dead by the
Russian coastguard when his boat strayed into waters near the
disputed islands off Hokkaido. But Russia did not offer an apology
or compensation for it.

Is Japan's pacifism genuine?

The Japanese people have known all along that carrot-oriented
foreign and defense policies do not work, and that is why they have
expected the United States to use sticks on behalf of Japan. Japan
should not take the United States for granted just because it is its
ally. Further, Japan cannot expect the United States to take action
over the Senkakus and the northern territories.

Japan must grow into a normal country.

Is the pacifism of Japan which heavily relies on the United States
authentic? The truth is not only the United States but the whole
world is fed up with Japan's pacifism. It is about time the Japanese
people realized it.

The world's strategic environment has drastically changed in the
21st century. This is described in my book Shin Sensouron (On New
War) as the advent of a no-war era. It does not mean it will be a
peaceful era. Rather, it signifies an era of conflict instead of
war.

21st century no-war community

In the no-war era, mankind has to deal with new threats distinct
from those of the war era.

An international no-war community is being formed centering on
Western democracies based on the foundation distinct from the

TOKYO 00002000 013 OF 013


alliances and balance of power of the war era. The no-war community
is designed to jointly deal with such new threats as rogue states,
international terrorists, and failed states.

The Group of Eight sits at the center of it. The United States has
encouraged China to become a responsible stakeholder -- meaning to
join the no-war community. There is growing momentum in the world to
establish regional security forums.

The Foreign Affairs July/August issue carries U.S. Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice's article spelling out her desire to develop
the six-party framework into a Northeast Asian Peace and Security
Mechanism. She apparently eyes linking it to the global no-war
community.

Ruled by enigmatic dictator Kim Jong Il, North Korea is a rogue
state, and its outrageous acts must be defined as crimes rather than
as war. The international community must continue guiding this rogue
state onto the right path by using both carrots and sticks. Will
Japan be able to play a proactive role in the process as an
international member? To the no-war community of the 21st century,
it is essential for Japan to be able to use not only carrots but
also sticks.

ZUMWALT

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